Earlier this year the Abbey Theatre announced that Roddy Doyle’s Two Pints Facebook posts were to be adapted for the stage as part of the Abbey Theatre’s 2017 programme.
Now, in what might not be considered a traditional Abbey Theatre move, the National Theatre is set to take make its debut in Limerick’s Dolans Warehouse as part of a national tour of Irish pubs.
Roddy Doyle’s Two Pints series centre around two Dublin gentlemen who muse the news of the day in a pub. Starring Liam Carney and Lorcan Cranitch, the audience are invited to pull up a stool and listen in as the friends chew the fat and set the world to rights.
The deaths of well-known celebrities, the marriage referendum and the Buncrana pier crash have all been the subject of Two Pints.
What have been described as ‘hilarious and provocative’ dialogues, the Two Pints series of conversations have developed into a collection of sublimely funny theatrical pieces inspired by a year’s worth of news.
The story revolves around two men who meet for a pint in a Dublin pub. They chew the fat, set the world to rights, take the piss… They talk about their wives, their kids, their kids’ pets, their football teams and — this being Ireland in 2011-12 — about the euro, the crash, the presidential election, the Queen’s visit.
But these men are not parochial or small-minded; one of them knows where to find the missing Colonel Gadaffi (he’s working as a cleaner at Dublin Airport); they worry about Greek debt, the IMF and the bondholders (whatever they might be); in their fashion, they mourn the deaths of Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, Davy Jones and Robin Gibb; and they ask each other the really important questions like ‘Would you ever let yourself be digitally enhanced?’
Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, Directors of the Abbey Theatre said ‘We want the Abbey Theatre, our national theatre, and its audience to be reflective of Ireland. To us, this means presenting work all over Ireland, and not necessarily in conventional spaces. Roddy’s funny, touching and provocative Two Pintsseemed the perfect piece to do this with this year. ’
Roddy Doyle said ‘When I wrote Two Pints, I didn’t envisage it being performed in a pub, but it is part of the adventure. This new play is being put on in a context that is unfamiliar to me – that excites me.’
In a review of the piece from 2012 John Doyle wrote: “There are rare instances of poignancy – the death of Maeve Binchy elicits something melancholy – but almost all the conversations are raw comedy and utterly plausible as pub talk in Dublin. They are spectacularly hilarious too, and even if some details will pass over the heads of a non-Irish reader, and those who don’t follow soccer, this Irish-born reviewer and soccer fan can vouch for the authenticity.
And further, you haven’t really put the career of Tom Cruise in perspective until you’ve heard what these two guys have to say about it. It takes as long to read this book as it does to drink a pint, and it’s just as intoxicating and refreshing”.
Two Pints distils the essence of Roddy Doyle’s comic genius. Now it has evolved into a play and it is coming to a number of pubs around the country including Dolans Warehouse for one night only on July 19th.
Supported by Guinness, Friends First and the Vintner’s Federation of Ireland, tickets go on sale for the tour at 12 noon today at abbeytheatre.ie/2017/two-pints
Tickets for the Limerick performance can be purchased here: http://booking.abbeytheatre.ie/single/SelectSeating.aspx?p=9389